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Cheney shooting

Posted by Richard on February 15, 2006

OK, I’ll admit that Dick Cheney shooting a lawyer has been good for quite a few laughs. A friend of mine suggested there may have been a second shooter on a grassy knoll. That led me to wonder if Oliver Stone has begun work on the screenplay yet.

But isn’t it time to stop badgering poor Scott McClellan about this and move on? The Wall Street Journal, in a funny opinion piece about the "unanswered questions" surrounding the event, noted this shining moment in American journalism:

11:27 a.m., Monday. Mr. McClellan finally holds a press conference and gets grilled. One reporter actually asks (and we’re not making this one up), "Would this be much more serious if the man had died?"

For the record, Mr. McClellan replied, "Of course it would." 

It’s only gotten worse since. Why wasn’t the press notified immediately? What are Cheney and his pals hiding? Exactly how drunk was Cheney?

I think it’s time to remind the press that they have no business hounding Cheney about this. The shooting took place during a private weekend on a private ranch. What happened is a private matter between Cheney and Whittington. They’re both consenting adults, and Cheney shot Whittington on his own time. The shooting has no impact whatsoever on Cheney’s duties as Vice President. These reporters need to get over their unhealthy obsession with who Dick Cheney chooses to exchange birdshot with in the privacy of their own ranch.

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5 Responses to “Cheney shooting”

  1. Rick Shultz said

    What’s the big deal? I mean as long as he had a

    “Lawyer also” stamp on the license, ya know?

  2. dave said

    As Jay Leno said: “Hey Kevin, is that the way it works in the hood… when someone is shot and the police come to ask the standard questions… you just tell them the shooter is busy and they can come back later with their nosey attitudes?”

    If it was such a private affair (and so we shant ask about the details) why were the taxpayers footing the bill for Mr. Chaney’s air fare?

    At breakfast David was asserting that you’ve really lost your way as a libertarian… and I stayed out of it because things were getting heated without my help…. but Richard… when you read your piece on Cheney isn’t there some part of you that shares Dave’s concern?

    In a civil society someone is supposed to check into things when a shooting has occured and especially if some beer has been had. If the police were indeed told to buzz off (and I don’t know if this is true) and you want the press to buzz off too…. isn’t there some part of you that worries that the white house is becomming substantially ABOVE REVIEW? Would you also say the press was too agressive after Kennedy drove off that bridge and left that poor girl in the car overnight? He wasn’t even billing the taxpayer for his costs on that fatefull eve.

    What happens when someone like Nixon, FDR, or Woodrow Wilson gets in charge of such an imperial White House as you envision?

  3. Anonymous said

    Dave: This may be hard for urban creatures such as you and Jay Leno to understand, but someone getting hit by birdshot on a ranch in Texas isn’t like someone “bustin’ a cap” in the hood. You take the poor guy to the hospital — end of story. You don’t have to call the cops, CSI doesn’t go over the scene, there’s no blood alcohol test, nobody talks about “leaving the scene of an accident” like that MSNBC idiot, Larry O’Donnell.

    What happened was neither a traffic accident nor a crime. Unless Mr. Whittington asserts there was a crime and says he wants to press charges, there’s ”’no reasonable basis”’ for treating it as a crime.

    And talk about losing your way as a libertarian! In the absence of any ”’reasonable suspicion”’ that a crime has been committed, in the absence of a ”’victim,”’ why do you want to bring in the cops and start interrogating people and force them to submit to blood tests? This “someone is supposed to check into things” crap doesn’t sound very libertarian to me.

    As for “white house is becomming substantially ABOVE REVIEW,” that’s a total non sequitur. We’re discussing an act by Dick Cheney — a private act, not the performance of his official duties — not by the White House. It didn’t happen in the Oval Office. Heck, Cheney doesn’t even ”live” in the White House. 🙂

    The Kennedy comparison is totally off base. Kennedy left the scene of a ”’traffic accident,”’ which is a crime in and of itself, and ”’there was a victim,”’ Mary Jo Kopechne, in the car. Harry Whittington said Cheney shot him ”accidentally,” that he wasn’t the victim of a crime. What do you want to do, make him take a polygraph test? Give everyone there the third degree?

    I don’t envision an “imperial White House.” I do envision people not exhibiting hysterical, irrational, insane hatred for the resident thereof, however.

    (BTW, the O’Donnell theory that Cheney was drunk isn’t too plausible. A man who’s had 4 heart attacks, unless he’s very self-destructive, isn’t likely to ignore doctor’s orders to limit alcohol to an occasional one or two drinks. Not that it makes any difference.)

  4. VRB said

    Since when did it matter where someone is shot, if there may be negligence or criminal negligence? A person may be criminally responsible for an accident, even if is not a traffic accident. How is this to be determined, if there is no investigation? The victim is not the one who determines if an incident is a crime. If he had died and did not have a chance to say it was an accident, would that make any difference? We do not know how much or what type medication Cheney is taking for his heart disease or how it may have affected his conduct. CSI is probably not needed, but I feel that there would be less speculation if the had been some statement from the local authorities based on some type of an investigation.

  5. Anonymous said

    VRB: Well, since you wrote that, the local sheriff issued a statement, so maybe this is moot. But I really believe the sheriff’s investigation wasn’t justified. In this case, Cheney was treated differently because he’s the veep all right — the incident was investigated in depth, whereas if he were just a local “good ole boy” who got hit with birdshot while hunting with friends, the sheriff would never have paid any attention.

    My guess is the sheriff (or a deputy or two) couldn’t resist an opportunity to rub shoulders with big shots and maybe get a photo op or something for an upcoming election campaign.

    Believe me, on a ranch in Texas, if the shooter, the shootee, and all the witnesses agree it was an accident, that’s good enough for the sheriff. Ever heard the phrase “innocent until proven guilty”? In a free society (and rural America is still the world’s best approximation thereof), there simply isn’t any crime to investigate until someone involved asserts that there is.

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